Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

‘Space Camp’ Blasts onto HDNet Movies kidScene’s September Programming

SpaceCamp.jpgA 26-year-old film about space exploration is bound to have technical aspects that haven’t aged well, but Space Camp delivers on several other levels. “Even though this movie is a little outdated, being made in 1986, I still found myself at the end of my chair wondering what was going to happen next!” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Jennifer Huntoon, age 14. The film about a miscellaneous group of kids at space camp who find themselves launched in to space for real was nominated in 1987 for the Young Artist Award for Exceptional Feature Film – Family Entertainment – Drama. “I love all the characters,” says KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Camille Bajema, age 10, who shares that what strikes her most is when “the kids are put into an adult situation and have to work as a team.” And 11-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Talia Rashba shares another positive – the humor. “The jokes are funny and easy to understand,” she says.

Space Camp, airing throughout September, is one of the many movies brought to your home by HDNet Movies kidScene, a daily programming block specifically for kids and families from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET and every Friday night at 7 p.m.

Space Camp
Reviewed by Talia Rashba
(See her full review on video.)

I thought this movie pretty good. It was entertaining, filled with drama, and there is a lot of good information about space presented in the film.

Space Camp is about a group of kids who come to a camp at the NASA headquarters to learn all about space. Each of the kids is assigned a position in the space shuttle by an astronaut named Andie. When the group goes with Andie to the space shuttle for a simulation, they accidentally get launched up into space, and they have to figure out how to get back home before they run out of oxygen.

Andie (Kate Capshaw) is a famous astronaut who teaches the kids about operating the space shuttle. She is an encouraging and helpful teacher who pushes each one of them to work to the best of their ability. Kathryn (Lea Thompson) is one of the kids attending the space camp. She is very smart and knows a lot about space. She is assigned the position of the pilot and she is expected to do everything right. Tish (Kelly Preston) is another teenage girl at the space camp. She is friendly, pretty, girly and actually smarter then she acts. Rudy (Larry B. Scott) is an older camper who loves science but he thinks he is terrible at it. He is nice, funny and very friendly. He ends up studying very hard and becomes a really good scientist. Max (Joaquin Phoenix, credited as Leaf Phoenix) is the youngest kid in the group, and he actually wasn’t even supposed to be in the camp because of his age. All he ever wanted to do in life is go up in space. When the group gets introduced to a space robot named Jinx, Max steals it and forms a close friendship with it. And lastly, Kevin (Tate Donovan) is a bad teenage boy who doesn’t care about space camp at all. He doesn’t even want to be there, but he has no choice.

What is not that great in Space Camp are the special effects and animation. When the characters go up into space, it almost looks like they are a cut-out picture. Nothing looks very realistic to me at all. I know that technology has come a long way since 1986, so that is why these things don’t look that professional.

What is good in the movie is the humor. The jokes are funny and easy to understand. The characters are also a good part of the movie. You really get to know them and enjoy their performances.

This movie is rated PG, but it does have some bad language in it and some pretty intense scenes. Because of this, I think this movie would only be good for kids who are 10 years old up until 14 years. Since this is a classic movie, the family may enjoy sitting down and watching it together. I am giving Space Camp a three out of five stars. My overall impression is that it is worth a look.

Space Camp
Reviewed by Camille Bajema
See her full review on video.)

Many parts of this film are very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat!

This film is about five kids — Kevin, Kathryn, Tish, Rudy and Max played by Tate Donovan, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, Larry B. Scott and Leaf Phoenix — who go to a camp to train like astronauts. The director of the camp is a strict astronaut named Andie, played by Kate Capshaw. Things get really exciting when they actually explore a real spaceship. A mechanical creature that NASA creates hears Max say that he wishes he could really go up in space, so he controls the spaceship to take off while the kids and Andie are still inside! This is my favorite scene in the movie because the kids are put into an adult situation and have to work as a team. Many exciting, suspenseful things happen while they’re in space!

I love all of the characters. Kevin is a teenage boy who is always on the lookout for cute girls; Kathryn is a very determined young woman who wants to become the first woman shuttle commander; Tish is a girlie girl, yet very smart; Rudy is a super smart and energetic teenage boy; and Max is the youngest of the group, yet very determined to show Andie how grown-up he is. My favorite character would have to be Tish. I like her best because although she’s super girlie, she’s super smart. It shows that girls who are pretty can also be smart, too!

This movie is written by Clifford Green and Casey Mitchell and directed by Harry Winer.

I recommend this film for ages 11 and up because there is some inappropriate language. Also, this film is almost two hours long and might be hard for a younger child to sit through.

I give this film four out of five stars because at some points it gets a little boring and, because it’s an older movie, the special effects are really cheesy! Look for this classic family film on HDNet movies, kidScene throughout September!

Space Camp
Reviewed by Jennifer Huntoon
See her full review on video.)

I just finished watching the movie Space Camp. In this movie, we follow a group of kids that cannot work together who attend space camp! But when they are accidentally launched into space, they are forced to settle their differences so they can return to Earth. The campers we follow are Kathryn Fairly (Lea Thompson), Tish Ambrosei (Kelly Preston), Rudy Tyler (Larry B. Scott), Max (Joaquin Phoenix, credited as Leaf Phoenix) and Kevin Donaldson (Tate Donovan).

Even though this movie is a little outdated, being made in 1986, I still found myself at the end of my chair wondering what was going to happen next! This suspense was delivered from good acting, cool scenes and intense music. There are several scenes that I can’t get out of my head, but these two were my favorite: My first favorite is when Max has to go out in space and help Andie get oxygen. I love this scene because Max is the youngest kid out of his group and he goes out in space all by himself! My other favorite scene is when Kathryn has to fly the shuttle into “white sand” to land and return to Earth.

I would give Space Camp three stars out of five and recommend it to kids around the age 7. I think adults would also enjoy this film with their families. This is an HDNet movie so watch for it with your family all September long on kidScene!

Photo: Space Camp poster

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